Today’s guest blog comes from Mike Collins at the National Trust. Find out more about the Great British Walk and how to get involved by 4 November – you could win a stay in a National Trust holiday cottage too.
Going on a walk allows us to take a step back from our daily routine. You can feel the wind in your face, the changing of the seasons, the excitement of coming across a beautiful building or the buzz from immersing yourself in a rich social history.
There is something magical about a walk that connects you to that sense of place: allowing us to follow in the footsteps of generations of people that have followed the route before us helping to bring alive the pages of history.
Our built and natural heritage can come alive on a short or long walk. Standing in wonder next to a thousand year old oak, following a drovers lane or coming across an iron age fort can help to unpeel the layers of history that dominate our landscape.
As a nation we have a rich and important walking heritage. The network of footpaths that criss-cross these islands is second to none and the long struggle to have access the countryside and coast has its roots in this green and pleasant land. It’s fair to say that the walking revolution is made in Britain.
Getting ready for a walk is also part of the experience whether a seasoned rambler or someone who likes to go on an occasional stroll.
Laying out one of the wonderful Ordnance Survey maps and tracing your finger along a route and the contours of the landscape allows can fire the imagination and sense of wonder. You can seek out the names of the places you’ll pass and speculate at the origins of their names; think about where you might stop for lunch.
Or it could be looking at a walking route online or flicking through a walk leaflet to pick out what you might see en route.
Going for a walk is simply the best way to get closer to the rhythm of the seasons and the sights and sounds that can infuse our senses. But we also need to take the time to stand and stare to look at the world around us. Making a walk part of the adventure of every day life will show your world in a new light, whether walking to work of going for a hike in the countryside.
For more information about the Great British Walk please visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk. You can share your favourite walk until the 4 November and have the chance to win a stay in a National Trust holiday cottage and have the walk illustrated.